By January 30, 2013 12 Comments Read More →

Soy: Eat It or Leave It?

Reed Davis, CN, Guest Writer
Waking Times 

I stop by Starbucks every now and then for my morning coffee. The other day I noticed they’d put some pamphlets on the checkout counter about how good their soy milk is for you. I’d like to share my thoughts on this.

Many people think of soy milk as a healthy milk substitute – including a lot of my clients – and I doubt Starbucks means its customers any harm. But you shouldn’t drink it.

Soy milk is bad for you. Not just the brand Starbucks uses. Any brand. It’s an unnatural byproduct of soy that your body can’t digest.

If you were to eat unprocessed soy, it would cause cramping, nausea, and can cause more serious health problems.

Here are a few of the pamphlet’s false claims about soy milk (and the truth about them):

Claim: “In countries where soy is a dietary staple, such as China and Indonesia, soy consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of certain chronic diseases.”

Fact: This is only half-true. The soybean itself is inedible. It contains toxins meant to ward off insect predators. These include:

* anti-nutrients that prevent your body from absorbing essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc.

* enzyme inhibitors that make it harder for your body to absorb protein.

Both of these substances can give you abdominal pain, gas, nausea, cramps, and other gastrointestinal problems.

* hemagglutinin, a substance that promotes blood clots.

* goitrogens, which cause gout and thyroid problems.

Societies that depend heavily on soy-based foods use traditional preparation methods thousands of years old that neutralize or eliminate these poisons.

Tempeh, miso, natto, and soy sauce are fermented products. The fermentation process destroys the toxins. Tofu comes from the pressed “curds” of the soybean. The rest is thrown out – and the bad stuff along with it.

Compare this with the industrial processes that go into making soymilk: washing the beans in alkaline or boiling them in a petroleum-based solvent; bleaching, deodorizing, and pumping them full of additives; heat-blasting and crushing them into flakes; and then mixing them with water to make “milk.”

This only adds more dangerous chemicals without removing any of soy’s natural toxins. This is NOT a “dietary staple” in China, Indonesia, or any other country. And it shouldn’t be here, either.

Claim: “Also, interest in soy is rising because scientists have discovered that a soy component called isoflavone appears to reduce the risk of certain diseases.”

Fact: The opposite is true. Recent science suggests soy “isoflavones” are dangerous to your health.

Isoflavone isn’t actually a single substance, but a category of substances. Isoflavones include “phyto-estrogens,” plant-based compounds that mimic the female hormone. Eat enough of these and you’ll upset your body’s hormonal balance.

The young are especially vulnerable: research published just last year found that soy-based phyto-estrogens can cause “precocious puberty.” The study focused on a four-and-a-half year old girl who had developed breasts because her parents fed her too much soy formula.

Clinical research also links two of these phyto-estrogens, genistein and daidzein, to childhood leukemia and breast cancer.

Stick with a little milk or half-and-half in your coffee. It would be great if Starbucks offered organic dairy. That would be truly healthy. Keep some on hand at home and in the office if you have access to a refrigerator (and if you tolerate it). Better yet, switch to green tea.

As for soy products, the traditional fermented soy foods like tempeh, miso and soy sauces are safe and healthy. (Again, go organic if you can.)

To Better Health!

About the Author

Reed Davis has been the Clinical Nutritionist and Case Manager at a Wellness Center in Southern California since 1998 and has been teaching Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® since 2007.  He has extensive training, knowledge and experience in functional lab work and has helped over ten thousand people with a wide range of health problems. Reed is a Clinical Advisor for BioHealth Diagnostics Laboratory, helping providers around the world to interpret lab test results and integrate functional lab work into their practices. For more information on learning opportunities visit www.FDNmanager.com or please call 858-842-3266 or email info@FDNmanager.com

This article is featured as part of a partnership with AllThingsHealing.com.

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12 Comments on "Soy: Eat It or Leave It?"

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  1. John says:

    A nutritionist advising people to drink hormone-disrupting, breast- and prostate-cancer-causing, antibiotic-laden, animal-cruel dairy milk. What a joke. Are you a calf?

    Ever heard of almond milk? Rice milk?

    • dimitri says:

      He does imply that organic milk/cream would be much better. Then he suggests that you skip the coffee and go for the much healthier green tea. My add:a) the green tea should be organic, b) Starbucks is one company that should be boycotted by any health conscious individual.

    • Anonymous says:

      Love what he says about soy, but doubtful that “organic milk” is a “truly healthy” choice, as it losses so many health benefits in the pasteurization and homogenization processes. “Raw milk” is the “truly healthy” answer.

      Far too many people have problems with pasteurized milk, yet 80% of those individuals have no problems digesting “raw milk”. I’ll take a whole food like “raw” milk with it’s natural Vitamin A, D, and K and probiotic and anti-biotic nutrients and relieved digestive benefits, for my family, to a processed food such as “pasteurized” organic milk with it’s added synthetic Vit A & D, any day…that is as long as a good, “clean” source for raw milk is available (grass-fed and finished cow, supplemented with very little if any non-corn/non-soy feed that is Organic (non-GMO))…this is key since our society looks down on raw milk consumption, it’s legal availability is limited.

      Dare to question what seems logical…we’ve consumed raw milk for thousands of yearssssss.

    • Cheryl says:

      Almond milk and rice milk?…processed foods. A better choice raw whole food…raw milk.

      Love what he says about soy, but doubtful that “organic milk” is a “truly healthy” choice, as it losses so many health benefits in the pasteurization and homogenization processes. “Raw milk” is the “truly healthy” answer.

      Far too many people have problems with pasteurized milk, yet 80% of those individuals have no problems digesting “raw milk”. I’ll take a whole food like “raw” milk with it’s natural Vitamin A, D, and K and probiotic and anti-biotic nutrients and relieved digestive benefits, for my family, to a processed food such as “pasteurized” organic milk with it’s added synthetic Vit A & D, any day…that is as long as a good, “clean” source for raw milk is available (grass-fed and finished cow, supplemented with very little if any non-corn/non-soy feed that is Organic (non-GMO)). Finding a source is key. Since our society looks down on raw milk consumption, it’s legal availability can be very limited. (Damn the very powerful Dairy Lobby.)

      Dare to question what seems logical…we’ve consumed milk for thousands of yearssssss.

  2. abinico warez says:

    Soy is great food for bugs that can eat it.

  3. Afshin Nejat says:

    So store bought soy milk such as Silk, in spite of being organic and non-GMO, is basically organic and non-GMO Poison?

    • Thinking says:

      If you read the article and considered the facts you would answer your own question. In addition to the negative affects is the impact soy can have to thyroid function. Organic Almond milk and other choices are better than soy.

  4. Glenn says:

    Apparently the author of this article hasn’t seen the video “The Perils of Dairy” available to watch on YouTube – http://youtu.be/TJvrlwnEqbs

  5. heart+brain says:

    The peoples of Asia eat and drink soya products daily and have been doing so for millenias and some Western overly developed of brain but deprived of heart drums up his moment of sanctity by exposing his stupidity-dumbness in the vain attempt at owning others just like that through knowledge/the brain? What makes Westerners think that their methods of producing and processing soya is equal or even superior to the traditional Asian methods and that those parameters have no bearing on the outcome. Because power comes from the barrel of a gun? Realise that most Westerners lack 2 genes which predispose them to being Wild & Wanton. Better get “The Genome Project” to verify this and then be amazed that The Brain is nothing without The Heart – and vice-versa.

  6. george says:

    Nothing said about Soy Oil, which is being increasingly used as a medium in cooking, whereas it suits best for manufacture of synthetic alkyd resins…

  7. lol says:

    Historically in China milk was not popular at all, but beverages made from blended nuts, grains and fruits were. Only recently has China succumbed to the milk is mana from heaven marketing shtick.

  8. NO to milk ! says:

    you CAN make your own almond milk, its super easy! all u need is a blender.

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